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Student journalists honored at state level

May 28, 2014 - By Katie Winkler

Review Staff Writer

Michigan Interscholastic Press Association recognized several Lake Orion student journalists at their Spring Conference in Lansing recently.

Lake Orion Dragon Yearbook and Television Production Workshops LO-AM was honored for various categories for their overall productions and individual's work.


This past summer, advisor Stephanie Orth found out that the 2013 "DragonTime" yearbook won a Spartan, the highest award in the state of Michigan given to student journalist publications.

"I think that the fact that the yearbook won a Spartan proves what I already knew, that I had a very talented group of students in my class," Orth said.

What Orth didn't know before the MIPA Spring Conference was what individual awards her students had won: First place for Advertisement (Madeline Gibson, Kayla Buchholz), Index (Katelyn Winkler, Sierra Harbin), Second place for Sports Reporting (Riley Holder), Sports Action Photo (Thomas Connolly), Third place for Sidebar Writing (Staff), Division Page (Katelyn Winkler, Caitlyn Diroff, Leslie Batoha), Opening and Closing (Katelyn Winkler, Caitlyn Diroff, Thomas Connolly), Theme Development (Katelyn Winkler, Caitlyn Diroff, Leslie Batoha), Cover (Katelyn Winkler, Caitlyn Diroff, Thomas Connolly) and Honorable Mentions for Caption Writing (Laura Gonda, Abygail Kritta, Sierra Harbin), Sports Reporting (Sierra Harbin), Student Life Spread (Sydney Mentier), Graphics (Sydney Mentier), Sports Feature Photo (Leslie Batoha), Club/Performance Photo (Caitlyn Diroff), School Spirit Photo (Thomas Connolly),Organization Spread (Olivia Alspach), Headline Writing (Sierra Harbin, Abygail Kritta, Hamna Hasan), Individual Advertisement (Madeline Gibson, Kayla Buchholz), Sports Spread (Savanna Smirnow), Sports Feature Photo (Thomas Connolly), Club Performance Photo (Thomas Connolly), Feature Writing: Student Life (Hamna Hasan), Academic Writing (Abygail Kritta), Caption Writing (Staff), Sports Spread (Jacqueline Whitus), Endsheets (Katelyn Winkler), and Headline Writing (Laura Gonda, Madeline Stroin, Hamna Hasan).

"I think that [DragonTime] had a very unique design and the theme itself was unique. The way that it ended up all coming together was very cohesive and consistent that differed from previous yearbooks," Orth said. "It adhered to the rules of journalism and that we successfully documented the school year. I think, overall, the book was very well received by the student population, parents, and community members."

On top of their acknowledgment at the state level, Dragon yearbook was recognized on a national level. The "Pacemaker" award is given to the best yearbooks in the nation, like the Spartan for Michigan. Dragon scored right below the Pacemaker, placing them in first class.


The cast of TPW's daily news show, LO-AM, has re-submitted their news show for a Spartan since they were off by only one point. Even without the Spartan, the video students journalists of LOHS have many other MIPA awards to be proud of: First Place for 3-Week Film Challenge (Billy Woods, Shane Ciora, Drew Dargavell, Craig Matola), Studio Talent (Madi Brinker), Humor (Elevator Flash Mob) (Sam Wright), Commercial ("The Hit" Trailer) (Shane Ciora), Music Video (Winner Take All) (Paige Teregan, Connor Scott, Madi Brinker), Short Film Fiction (The Hit) (Shane Ciora & Dan Callahan), Editorial (Role Models) (Gabrielle Gianino & Ted Swietlik), Second place for 3-week Film Challenge (Evan Dholakia, Erin Womack, Danielle Carr, Dan Callahan), Public Service Announcement (Think Before You Drink) (Riley Bussell), Opener (Fall Sports) (Kyle Marino), Animation (Water PSA) (Madi Brinker), Music Video ("Delight") (Shane Ciora), Short Film Fiction ("The Job") (Sam Wright), Studio Talent (Riley Holder), Live Sports (Girls Bball 2/4) (WDBC Staff), Personality Profile (Gymnast) (Alison Girling, Claire McIntyre, Mercedes Brantley), Editorial (Distracted Driving) (Ana Cordera & Becci Blascak), Sports News (Homecoming) (Madi Brinker), Sports Feature (Student Section) (Ana Cordera, Becci Blascak, Craig Matola), Anchor (Madi Brinker), Graphics (Term 2) (Gabrielle Gianino, Ted Swietlik, Becci Blascak, Mercedes Brantley), Third Place for 3-Week Film Challenge (Jason Goodson), Carry-In Feature (Megan Fiorani, Gabrielle Gianino, Conner Jaacks), Graphics (Term 1) (Gabrielle Gianino, Brian Bommarito, Claire McIntyre, Anna Dietz), Animation (PSA) (Erin Womack, Danielle Carr, Evan Dholakia), Feature (Tattoos) (Conner Jaacks & Jake Rapanotti), Field Reporter (Sam Wright), Science (Paper Usage) (Ana Cordera), Sports News (Swim vs. Oxford) (Gabrielle Gianino), and Honorable Mentions for Sports Feature (Bedside Healers) (Julia Sherman & Craig Matola), Science (Mice) (Riley Bussell), Anchor (Claire McIntyre), Field Reporter (Riley Holder), Live Sports Announcer (Ben Schueren), Humor (Tardy Training) (Erin Womack, Danielle Carr, Evan Dholakia), Commercial (Perfume) (Billy Woods, Craig Matola, Becci Blascak), Live Sports (Boys Bball 2/3) (WDBC Staff), News Story (Melanie Bryce) (Gabrielle Gianino & Megan Fiorani), News Story (President) (Ana Cordera & Claire McIntyre), and Personality Profile (Leigh) (Alison Girling, Claire McIntyre, Mercedes Brantley).

Students submitted their work to the Michigan Student Film Festival and were "Best in Show" for News Program (2/10/14) (LO-AM) and PSA (Riley Bussell).

"I'd say it's been a phenomenal year," Roger Smith, TPW advisor, said. "When you look at the stats, we got the most entry winnings hands and shoulders above any other school. We swept first and second place in several categories."

In addition to LO-AM's individual awards, they submitted their show for "Best News Cast" and placed third.


LO-AM staff member, Ana Cordera compiled a portfolio, consisting of an essay, resume, letters of recommendation, and pieces of student work, to be submitted to a board of MIPA representatives. Among all of the applicants, Cordera was selected among fourteen other students to be placed on the MIPA Student Journalism Staff. Out of the fifteen candidates, four are selected for "All-MIPA," one for each journalism category. Cordera was granted this title on top of a college scholarship, which she will use towards her studies at Northwestern University in the fall.

"Ana is very distinct because of how well-rounded she is. She is not just a video journalist, even though they honored her for the video side. She has written things for The Review (internship in the fall), own journalism blog, and a girls teen magazine," Smith said. "Now she is the top video journalist in the state."

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